Monthly Archives: July 2012

VOL 1 NO 2 – Contents and Cover – Special Olympics Edition

  1. EDITORIAL: Government is a Creep
  2. RHYME AND REASON: Viv Forbes’ Political Poetry
  3. GINA RINEHART COLUMN: Singapore Leads By Example
  4. COVER STORY: Why Sports Fans Should Be Libertarians
  5. THE IMPORTANCE OF CENSORSHIP: Lennie Lower Mocks Censorship
  6. O. HENRY SHORT STORY ON THE DISINCENTIVES AND INJUSTICE OF THE WELFARE STATE: The Cop and the Anthem
  7. CLIMATE POLICY: Colonial Cringe on Climate Policy, by Bob Carter
  8. CLIMATE POLICY/MINIMUM WAGE: The Short and Sharp Knockout Punch to End the Climate Debate

EDITORIAL: Government is a Creep

by Benjamin Marks, Capitalism.HK and Economics.org.au editor

Last issue, with our cover story on “Hong Kong’s Coming Slavery,” we saw how each government intervention leads to justifications for further interventions. One example Herbert Spencer gave was how it is impossible to have any principled objection to forcefeeding the bodies of children, if you think it is right to forcefeed their minds through compulsory attendance laws, compulsory curriculum laws, compulsory financing laws and compulsory teacher training laws. There is no place for government schooling in a capitalist society, same as there is no place for a monopoly supplier of food, especially one that forces itself on the population.

In Australia we can see an example of this government creep playing out in the mining sector, with those who have accepted that all resources are government property and are merely licensed to private prospectors and capitalists. I cannot find anyone in the Australian mining industry who has not conceded this starting principle, this foundational platform, to the government. I am not so cruel as to say the mining industry deserves what’s coming to them, but how long do they want to wait before they put forward a positive explanation of the justice and beneficence of mining, rather than continue compromising with the extremists who believe that the resources are government property? Read the rest of this entry

Viv Forbes’ Political Poetry

by Viv Forbes
Viv Forbes has been the most productive Australian free-market advocate for each of the last 35 years. He is still brilliantly active as Chairman of the Carbon Sense Coalition. More information about him is at VivForbes.info.

Poem list

  1. “AORTA”
  2. “The Do-Gooders”
  3. “Ten Little Businessmen”
  4. “Land of the Free”
  5. “The Numbered Men”
  6. “The Politician”
  7. “Stale Eggs in the Valley”
  8. “The Federation Cross”
  9. “The Spectator”

1. “AORTA”

It was a happy settlement
     the people strong and free.
They tended flocks and tilled the soil
     and fished upon the sea.

The north wind brought the raiders
     with their swords and greedy eyes.
They stripped the land and left behind
     a blight of funeral pyres.

“We must unite” the people said
     “to beat these robber bands.
We’ll arm ourselves and train our men
     to sweep them from our lands.”

T’was thus they formed a government
     to save them from the foe.
It levied tax and raised the troops
     and laid the looters low.

The system was a great success
     and wealth grew all around.
The idle troopers then were used
     to police the roads and towns.

A thinker from a foreign land
     said “You must help the poor.
Ya orta get the government
     to pass a welfare law.”

AORTA spread like smallpox germs
     it raced down every road.
As every loafer raised his voice
     “AORTA ease my load.” Read the rest of this entry

Singapore Leads By Example

by Gina Rinehart, Chairman of Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision (ANDEV) and Hancock Prospecting

The comparisons between Australia and our neighbour Singapore are striking. Every Australian government leader and business entity should be highly attentive to the differences between the two countries, and should seek to understand them.

Given the recent news that Singapore has the second highest economic growth rate in the world, second only to Abu Dhabi with its extensive oil and gas wealth, now is a great time to revisit Singapore. Read the rest of this entry

Why Sports Fans Should Be Libertarians

by Benjamin Marks, Capitalism.HK and Economics.org.au editor

Politicians at sporting events attract attention, because, among other reasons: (1) the political world is such a contrast to the sporting world; and (2) they attend precisely to attract attention to themselves, realising that people prefer politicians who: (a) like sport; (b) have similar interests; (c) have recognisable faces; and (d) they imagine to be easily reachable.

This essay aims, among other things, to have all politicians banned from sporting events and from being involved with sport in any way. Read the rest of this entry

Lennie Lower Mocks Censorship

by Lennie Lower, an Australian humourist during the 1930s and 1940s

I have observed the evil influence of films on the child mind.

Practically every kid in our street has a wooden tommy-gun for purposes of robbery and massacre.

One poor child died horribly 12 times in the one day — three times as a bank-teller, four times as a gangster, twice when, leaping from the top of a dirt-box, his parachute failed to open; stabbed in the back twice, and drowned when the raft on which he was drifting sank with all hands in the middle of the street. Read the rest of this entry

The Cop and the Anthem

by O. Henry, pen name of William Sydney Porter (1862-1910), a popular American writer of short stories noted, among other things, for their twist endings

On his bench in Madison Square Soapy moved uneasily. When wild geese honk high of nights, and when women without sealskin coats grow kind to their husbands, and when Soapy moves uneasily on his bench in the park, you may know that winter is near at hand.

A dead leaf fell in Soapy’s lap. That was Jack Frost’s card. Jack is kind to the regular denizens of Madison Square, and gives fair warning of his annual call. At the corners of four streets he hands his pasteboard to the North Wind, footman of the mansion of All Outdoors, so that the inhabitants thereof may make ready.

Soapy’s mind became cognisant of the fact that the time had come for him to resolve himself into a singular Committee of Ways and Means to provide against the coming rigour. And therefore he moved uneasily on his bench.

The hibernatorial ambitions of Soapy were not of the highest. In them there were no considerations of Mediterranean cruises, of soporific Southern skies drifting in the Vesuvian Bay. Three months on the Island was what his soul craved. Three months of assured board and bed and congenial company, safe from Boreas and bluecoats, seemed to Soapy the essence of things desirable. Read the rest of this entry

Colonial Cringe on Climate Policy

by Bob Carter, geologist, Emeritus Fellow of the Institute of Public Affairs (Melbourne), Chief Scientific Advisor to the International Climate Science Coalition (Ottawa), and author of Climate: the Counter Consensus

On 1 February, Financial Secretary John Tsang delivered a 2012-2013 budget for Hong Kong that forecast a HK$3.4 billion deficit for the year. It is unlikely that Mr Tsang took specific advice or instruction from the World Bank in shaping it.

Of course, deficit budgets are not necessarily a bad thing at times when money is tight yet critical productivity-enhancing infrastructure needs to be supported. But, as for many larger nations, Hong Kong’s deficit in part reflects populist and cosmetic spending on futile eco-bling such as tax incentives for inefficient electric-powered vehicles, encouragement of costly impracticalities such as carbon dioxide capture and storage (CDCS) and imposition of productivity-draining bureaucracy and costs by schemes like the Energy Efficiency (Labelling of Products) Ordinance.

Yet judging by the utterances of Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, and his representatives, the Hong Kong administration sets these and other policies on climate, aka global warming, on the basis of advice from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Read the rest of this entry

CLIMATE POLICY/MINIMUM WAGE: The Short and Sharp Knockout Punch to End the Climate Debate

by Benjamin Marks, Capitalism.HK and Economics.org.au editor

It is staggering to witness the self-proclaimed intellectual prowess of the advocates of government intervention to prevent human-induced fossil fuel emissions to prevent global warming.

Thankfully, there is an easy way to blow their argument to smithereens without needing to reference any climate science at all. And that is to point out the fact that almost all advocates of government intervention to prevent carbon emissions also support minimum wage laws.

The minimum wage is one of the most basic and fundamental benchmarks of logical reasoning. Read the rest of this entry